Where to Buy: T-Oolong Tea
This quality Alishan Charcoal Fire Medium Roast Oolong is handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Alishan oolong. Use only the charcoal made of either Taiwan Longan wood or Taiwan Acacia wood to roast the tea (NOT by electric roasters), and follow old traditional method. This tea has a strong charcoal aroma and taste mixing with flavors of Alishan oolong. The aftertaste is enjoyable and long lasting. It tastes very smooth, sweet, rich and complex, and stands up very well to multiple infusions.
Learn more about this tea here.
Today I reached into my grab bag of teas to review, and was thrilled when I pulled this, Alishan Charcoal Fire Medium Roast 2012 from T-Oolong Tea! Not only has my tasting from T-Oolong Tea been sorely underdone, but an oolong, Yes! Not only an oolong but a fire roasted oolong, yes again! This sounds so good that I hope it meets my high expectations!
I sneak a sniff as it steeps. I smell roasted fruitiness, and the aroma of a very clean spring from the mountains. Granted I do use good bottled water, but this aroma is not simply the water I use, its different, and reminds me of the natural stream I used to sip from with friends when I was younger, back in the days when I rode horses, daily. We knew of a stream – the best tasting water I have ever had, that we would ride to when we were parched.
So I have taken my first sip and oh my goodness, this is delicious! As I taste fruity notes, smokiness, and mineral notes. There is a wonderful sweetness to this tea, a brown sugar or German rock sugar sweetness, somewhere in between the two. I am not getting as deep of a sweetness of a brown sugar, but there is something a little more to it, like a caramel perhaps.
I also get a lovely white flower note as well as a green note, but not green like vegetal, more green like greens themselves, almost like dandelion leaves.
The after taste is clean, clear, and very refreshing! The sweetness gives way leaving a wonderful rock mineral note, floral, and that green bite, not bitter but tart.
The sad thing about this tea is that T-Oolong Tea is currently out of stock, I assume waiting on the 2013 batch, I am going to have to keep my eyes peeled for this one, this is absolutely a reorder worthy tea, and permanent stock worthy as well!
This tea is a must try for anyone who loves oolongs, especially darker roasted oolong tea.
Yes it certainly did meet my expectations, soared over them! I love this one.
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Nature’s Tea Leaf
Se Chung Tea is a blend of several loose-leaf, oolong tea leaves produced from plucks of several different plants. The leaves are naturally withered under the strong sun, oxidized until brown with green highlights, and then wrap rolled into small beads. The Se Chung Oolong tea has a roasted aroma and a thick, woody flavor. It is a great tea for those who enjoy a complex taste and have an adventurous palate.
Learn more about this tea here.
Sechong Oolong from Nature’s Tea Leaf provides a provocative and note layered cup. From mineral to woodsy, caramel, to chocolate notes, I find this tea to be quite enjoyable. Perhaps it is the mixture of many different plants that provides the multiple layers of flavor notes but I find it interesting and delicious.
The infused aroma is almost smoky with an aged woods scent. There is a slight aroma of a vanilla backdrop to the tea as well making the tea smell creamy.
On first infusion I get more of the caramel, chocolate and dessert type flavor notes while on later infusions more of the rock mineral notes come forward.
The creamy, sweet, vanilla notes are present in both early and later infusions. The tea has a mild sweetness from this note, which is quite lovely and comes over as a rock sugar flavor.
The tea is deep and toasty and reminds me of smore’s made over a campfire yet at the same time is reminiscent of a french bakery.
As the tea cools it becomes heavier in mouthfeel and almost creamy in the texture. So wonderful!
Some fruity apple notes come forward melding with the caramel and rock sugar notes making me think of caramel and candied apples.
I really like the later infusions where the rock mineral and rock sugar notes come together – its such an interesting flavor and I can’t recall a tea I have had of recent that had this same profile. I am not saying they do not exist but rather it has been some time since I have enjoyed a cup like this and I am very much enjoying every infusion of this leaf!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
New Spring 2012 Harvest!
This jasmine makes us understand what jasmine is all about. It starts with a silky smooth silver needle white tea from Yunnan with notes of cinnamon sweetness. Jasmine blossoms are scattered around the tea while drying for several nights in a row, and removed in the morning to be replaced by fresh blossoms, scenting the tea in the traditional method. The result is a perfectly integrated flavor, that starts off with the textures of a white tea, and sweetness drawn out and extended by a silky jasmine aroma. Continue steeping this out, and an intriguing apricot jam flavor starts to come out and compliment the subtle spice of the yunnan white. In later steepings there is even the slightest hint of pine needle.
ICED: Perfumed florals are more potent, with an exquisite silky texture and notes of melon and banana fruit salad.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was so pleased to sample this tea. I was surprised at the first flavor note I tasted being that of nut, rather than jasmine. Interesting because I have not really noticed anyone else picking up on that in other reviews, and it is not listed on the Verdant site as being a flavor note in the tea. Everyone experiences their tea in their own way though. I find the jasmine to be natural and light in the first steeping. A light sweetness and a slight rock mineral quality, but no one note is standing out in the first steep beyond the nutty flavor I am now so focused on. The mouthfeel is creamy, and the cup color is very pale yellow, almost beige, and quite clear. The after flavor is somewhat vegetal but only so slightly, more like a green tea than the after taste of a white, but lovely. Everything about this steep is slight, delicate, gentle. Now I am not saying I detect absolutely no jasmine in the flavor, I do, but even then it is faint and does not make me declare this a strong jasmine tea. I think however that is what is so lovely about this cup, the jasmine is so natural that it does not make you feel assaulted by its note. Toward the end of the cup of this first steep I am beginning to pick up on hints of a baked sugar confection flavor. Quite enjoyable!
In the second steep more of the notes come forward and the color of the brew is slightly darker. There are some lightly cinnamon notes but to me they come over as more like a black pepper which is delightful and awakens the senses. This note is detectable both in the aroma and flavor. Fruity notes are also coming forward which taste like red and blue berries. The sugar notes develop more as the cup cools. Jasmine is still of course a flavor note that is present but unlike many jasmine teas this one does not come over like grandma’s perfume! For those who have experienced a jasmine before and hated it – you must know that not all jasmine teas are created equal. There is a distinct difference between one that is done well and one that is not. This is done to perfection. A natural jasmine will taste, and for that matter smell far different than an artificial one. I leaned this long before my tea journey through natural perfumery and essential oil training. There is nothing quite like true jasmine.
Steep three evokes somewhat of a savory flavor palate with the citrus and linen notes in the background. There is a light drying sensation now on the tongue with grapefruit and orange notes. I am also detecting an oregano flavor. This is quite pleasing and surprising! I was not expecting the savory notes.
I am going to get many more steeps out of this tea!
All in all – a wonderful experience! I enjoyed this tea while listening to a Reiki CD and it was such a glorious way to welcome a new day!